UAE – Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADQ has announced it is exploring opportunities and investments that will position the UAE to become a leading regional pharmaceutical manufacturing hub.

The company launched a paper titled “Redefining Regional Pharma” that sets out the strategy and identifies “six cornerstones of success to enable the UAE to capture pharma growth opportunities in the region.”

The proposals call for increased collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as academia, the establishment of a robust life sciences R&D ecosystem, the development of UAE-based biotech and life sciences parks.

The proposals also call for the expansion of the country’s manufacturing capabilities, the formation of bilateral relationships to foster investment in clinical research, and the development of a highly skilled talent pool.

According to the ADQ whitepaper, the value of the local pharmaceutical market is expected to reach US$4.7 billion by 2025, up from US$3.7 billion in 2021.

Currently, eleven pharmaceutical multinationals operate in the UAE, including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer, GSK, and Sanofi.

The plans are based on ADQ’s intention to create an integrated pharma platform with drug development, in-licensing, manufacturing, and commercial capabilities.

ADQ, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Development Holding Co, manages US$110 billion in assets and invests in a diverse range of businesses. It has recently increased its investments in healthcare and life sciences.

Last month, the company announced plans to consolidate several companies within Pure Health, its subsidiary, to become the largest healthcare provider in the UAE.

Pure Health will include the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the National Health Insurance Company, Tamouh Healthcare, Yas Clinic Group, and the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center.

Fahad Al Qassim, executive director for healthcare and life sciences at ADQ said: “We are deploying capital to build a pharma hub that further strengthens the UAE’s regional leadership in the industry.

“As we invest in expanding capabilities, deepening the talent pool and increasing manufacturing drugs locally, we are helping to redefine the regional pharma landscape.”

ADQ recently opened an office in Cairo as part of ADQ and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s (TSFE) US$20 billion strategic investment platform, which was launched in 2019.

Earlier this year, it paid US$470 million to acquire Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, which operates one of Egypt’s largest drug plants, from Canada’s Bausch Health.

It has also invested in Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, and Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, a UAE-based company.

In addition, ADQ acquired a minority stake in Biocon Biologics Limited, a biosimilars company based in India.

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